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Talk:South Korea

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Okay guys I've read the discussions below and the main page as I'm visiting Korea soon. It seems like you've cooked up more of a Korean fan page than a genuinely informative Wikitravel article.

For starters, things to do -`theres too much to list in one article`. Really? South Korea is a small country not well known for its stand out tourist sights, with the exception of Seoul, Jeju and the DMZ. A bullet point list of the must see places would be great, this is a wikitravel article not a Wikipedia article.

Also spurious facts, for example, that Korea stands alone as being the only country that uses metal chopsticks in Asia is both false and impertinent, stick to the useful info please.

Sorry if this comes across as chiding, I can see much effort has gone into the article, however it lacks the useful information and snapshot most travelers are looking for.

Finally, Japanese diets, bland? I've been traveling Japan for a month and living in Asia for a long time and can assure you Japanese food is not bland. Cut out the fan boy parts and keep to what wikitravel should be, factual.

Removed the factbook. Professorbiscuit

Foreign English Teachers[edit]

We far outnumber military expats in Korea, and our rapidly growing numbers are having a significant impact on Korean ethnic makeup in urban areas. However this article mentions only the military as the significant western demographic. Also, as most people who want to visit this country do so by becoming an FET, I think this is a significant ommission.

Random q[edit]

what does this mean? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

What is the "this" that you are referring to? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 02:42, 6 September 2006 (EDT)

Uhhh, the part about Koreans eating dog is a little offensive. It's like saying Americans are fat. How about we get a little more specific there please? Most Koreans DO NOT eat dog. It was done many many years ago, and the few that still do eat dog are just that, a FEW.

[Tim says:] Keep it real dude. Dog is eaten in Korean and that's a fact. Come to any semi large Korean city and walk less than a mile and you will find a place that will offer you dog meat if you know how to ask. Anyone who is inclined to eat dog will not have a problem here.

That being said, no it's not all that popular. Eating dog here is like eating oysters shooters or venison in the states. It's not in every restaurant, but it's not that tough to find.

If you can get over the stigma it's actually a pretty tasty dish. A bit greasy but a very hearty and succulent dark meat.

Regional cuisine[edit]

There is a Korean channel on our cable TV that sometimes runs foodie programs. Typically they show people from Seoul traveling into the provinces to try local specialties.

As extensive and informative as the food section already is, it would be interesting to learn about regional and local variations in Korean cuisine. It seems that with growing affluence, Koreans themselves are really starting to explore and appreciate this. Perhaps the more intrepid type of tourist could tag along. LADave 14:29, 21 September 2007 (EDT)

Regional cuisine should be (and, to a small extent, is) covered in the regional articles. Eg. Busan talks about local seafood and North Chungcheong mentions the local soup. Jpatokal 23:32, 21 September 2007 (EDT)

Separate food page?[edit]

Not sure how things work here, but is it possible to make a separate page on Food in South Korea? There is more information on food than there is about any other aspect of South Korea, which is kind of silly. Also, as I live in what is considered rural South Korea, I'm aware of various regional specialties. There are really only a few true specialties worth mentioning . . . others are just PR creations. If you browse the websites of towns and counties, you'll see that every one---EVERY SINGLE ONE---has a list of regional products and foods. Koreans also have a habit of saying "_________ is famous for ________," and media and others just eat it up. So, the amount of regional diversity is very little, and probably not worth delving into at any great length on the main page. I like the little introduction we have, and I think we really ought to havce a short overview on the main page. I also don't think the eating dog part is offensive, as it's a legitimate curiosity many travellers have. And it is pretty wide spread, and not confined to just a few people. As is evidenced every summer in the newspapers, people claim (tortured) dog is good for stamina and energy. Smee 22:24, 10 October 2007 (EDT)

We generally don't do separate pages for food: there have been a few attempts, but they just don't have the same visibility as the main page, so people end up duplicating everything anyway. (Cf. Singapore#Eat vs Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine.) A better solution is to balance it out by writing more about stuff other than food!
And if there's some notionally "regional dish" that isn't really worthy of a front page mention, then feel free to shift it into the area in question, although I don't see anything blatantly irrelevant on a quick glance (except maybe the long history of budae jjigae). Jpatokal 07:17, 11 October 2007 (EDT)


Resentment Article: Korea and Japan relationship has improved ( Korea-Japan 2002 FIFA World Cup). Some Koreans or Korean nationalist resent Japanese government " covering up" Japanese military occupation of Korea for 35 years. ( School textbook and news media). Korea-China relationship is very poor status. Main reason is Koreans view China as communist regime and recently " Beijing Olympic Torch Run" in Seoul. The Chinese youth attacked Koreans. ( Not respecting Local culture). This has made Koreans view China much more negative then Japan. Yes, Koreans do have very strong political and cultural resentment toward Chinese and China. - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Korean1Professor (talkcontribs)

Aren't we supposed to edit or has something changed?[edit]

Could someone explain why Superdog keeps removing links to the sites of the major airports? This is the second time I've tried putting links on the national page to South Korea and they have been removed. I thought we are supposed to make the pages more helpful to visitors not less.

Setting up links, cleaning up the page, making things easier for viewers was what I thought and read were the purpose of the site. I don't want to get into an edit war but I think this is a central point.

Check out the article history by going to the South Korea article and then clicking the "history" tab at the top of the page. You will see that SuperDog filled in the Edit Summary when he made the change and you can see it on that page. -- Colin 00:37, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
I have. In fact I've spent more than enough time going through all the history and commentaries of this page. Check out our respective talk [1] pages.
I think putting the airport homepages on the city pages are good enough. We would just like to give people an idea of how to get into the country so the information on each airport need not be so detailed. And while I may not agree personally, the map you provided is of uncertain copyright status and cannot be used according to Wikitravel's policies. In addition, it used the old romanisations, and here we want to make use of the official romanisations used in South Korea.
Having links to other pages where there's more detailed information like Jpatokal mentioned is ideal. The main pages should have general but pertinent information which allow you to find out more. The point, I reiterate, is to make things easier. If you check out other countries in the East such as Japan or Taiwan or countless other countries everywhere else, they would agree. They're just links, you know.
To be more specific, if an airport is mentioned somewhere else (like the main page), we should link to the full airport coverage in the city section. Eg. Seoul#By plane has tons of information about the airport, how to get there, etc. Jpatokal 06:19, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
About the map, the revised romanisations as Superdog put it is actually in the same style for both maps. There is apparently a year difference between the two but copied from the same model. If you check official government sites today [2], you will see that the romanised spellings are very different.
Sorry, my mistake, but I agree we should work on getting a map with the revised romanisations. The other map uploaded included North Korea, which we do not need for this article, and I think we should stick to the standard map format for Wikitravel, as in all other articles. Superdog 20:33, 3 July 2008 (EDT)

Rice: chopsticks vs spoon[edit]

Re: the chopsticks-vs-spoon bit for eating rice, South Korea is certainly the only East Asian country I know where it's considered acceptable to eat rice with your spoon -- both China and Japan use only chopsticks for this. (At least for plain steamed rice, fried rice etc is a different story.) Jpatokal 03:46, 11 June 2008 (EDT)

Strictly speaking, eating rice with spoon is actually the proper way to consume rice in Korea, though most people do eat rice with chopsticks nowadays. 07:17, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Eat: Etiquette: Slurping[edit]

Slurping your soup to show appreciation is actually a Japanese custom. Koreans who grew up during the Japanese occupation period 1910-45 and there soon after would have been influenced. Therefore those who are of an older generation would consider it acceptable but those under 40 do NOT find it acceptable and certainly not polite. Paula 21:38, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

Article was vandalised by "Hagger"[edit]

When I went to the South Korea page on August 1st, 2008 at 6:19 PM Central Standard time (Nebraska, United States), it comes up with a heavily hacked page with a weird background, basic Wikitravel stuff on the side, and a weird pic, above it is the text "This page has been vandalised by Hagger :)". On the top is some "Muhammad rapes little children...Muslims are terrorists" story. I don't know what happened, but when I figured out how to get to the "Edit" page, it showed what should be on the page.

I managed to override it by faking an edit to the article as a whole. Seems to work fine now.

- Be aware of actual Koreans, they will likely edit out anything they find offensive to the South Korea. Wikipedia articles about Korea faced heavy influence from them.


Police accept violence against foreigners to protect the purity of the race??? This is a highly questionable statement clearly based on some isolated incidents and representing only one viewpoint. In the interest of objectivity I feel this needs to be removed!! While in my experience in S Korea, I have certainly found a lack of knowledge of other cultures, i have not experienced any strong racism.

I've reverted your rollback, but trimmed out a few of the wilder claims. As in Japan and China, racism in Korea does definitely exist. The violent forms are mostly targeted against darker-skinned types, but subtle and less subtle discrimination affects every foreigner — see eg. [3]. Jpatokal 22:50, 17 March 2009 (EDT)


The statements made in the last half of the crime section seem extremely biased against Korea. I found that they were removed once, then added back in again by an "anon". Does anyone agree these lines should be removed? -- 12:15, 25 October 2009 (EDT)

South Jeolla[edit]

The map is wrong, the region South Jeolla is called North Jeolla. Could anyone fix it? Globe-trotter 14:07, 14 December 2009 (EST)

Shortening the history section and removing questionable advices[edit]

The way I see it, the history section is a bit convoluted. I'd much prefer a cleaner looking page such as Russia. The North Korea article does not focus on ancient history, it begins with the Japanese annexation to the estalblishment of the DPRK. While I understand it's a shared history, the article here is about South Korea. It is in my opinion that the history of South Korea should reflect its name. --Quovadis 12:52, 3 March 2010 (EST)

Hi Quovadis! Please wait before you do any further mass deletions. In my view your changes are inappropriate to say at least. To write Japanese Invasion in inverted commas has a very onesided view of the history. Also other countries have longer history section to reflect the complicated nation building of that country. Have a look at Germany which has a similar difficult past of a splitted nation. List your issues here before you change the history section again. Otherwise, it will be seen as edit warring. jan 06:42, 3 March 2010 (EST)

I actually bolded "Japanese occupation", but I guess it's the same thing. I would think the Japanese occupation would be one of the important focal point in South Korean history. Again, I was trying to shorten the section by removing unnecessary info. Apologizes if my edits seemed a bit rash, I guess my WP:BOLD mindset from wikipedia isn't transferable here. --Quovadis 06:52, 3 March 2010 (EST)
Quovadis! Wikitravel is based on consensus but you always can Wikitravel:Plunge forward if you see an improvement. History sections are always sensitive because being fair is difficult when political issues are touched... jan 07:12, 3 March 2010 (EST)

I'll be puting in a relatively unchanged version of the history section. Although still a little longer than it needs to be. Let's see if this gets anywhere... --Quovadis 10:46, 3 March 2010 (EST)

Streamlining the Respect section[edit]

This is my proposed version of

Things to do[edit]

Korea is a land of strict Confucian hierarchy and etiquette. As a visitor you will not be expected to know every nuance, but making an effort will certainly be appreciated.

  • Koreans bow to each other to show their respect when they meet. They may also shake hands at the same time. However, with people you are friendlier with a quick nod of the head and a simple "annyeong haseyo"(안녕하세요) meaning "hello" should suffice.
  • When picking something up or taking something from somebody older always use two hands. If you have to reach to get it and this is not possible, you can simply support your right arm with your left hand. Likewise, when shaking hands with somebody older support your right arm with your left hand.
  • It is also customary that you must take off your shoes in the house and also in many traditional restaurants.

Things to avoid[edit]

While Koreans understand that visitors may be unaccustomed to Korean culture and etiquette, there are some key aspects to avoid.


  • Koreans in general have very strong nationalistic views, and would view any criticisms of their country with varying degrees of hostility. To avoid getting into the bad books of your hosts, it is advisable to only praise the country and avoid bringing up anything negative about it.
  • Avoid bringing up the Japanese occupation, the Korean war of the early 1950s and US foreign policy, as these delicate topics are certain to get you on someone's bad side and can lead to intense debates. Also, Koreans are particularly proud of their cuisine, and do not welcome criticism of it — although they do understand that foreigners may find some dishes too spicy.

--Quovadis 10:29, 3 March 2010 (EST)

Thanks for that Quovadis. I have not yet had a detailed read, but first impression is that these are good edits. And thank for understanding the WT way with such things. Political and history sections in country articles are always a bit sensitive.--Burmesedays 10:54, 3 March 2010 (EST)

ATMs can be very picky[edit]

Australian ATM cards will typically work with Cirrus but not Plus. Visa cards will often incur more or greater costs than regular ATM cards at least if they are credit cards, I'm not sure about Visa debit cards. Also using a credit card will incur interest if you don't transfer money from another account to cover it promptly.

Given this I like to avoid using my Visa card whenever possible.

Now Korean ATMs can be very picky if you are trying to use a Cirrus card. Some ATMs only accept smart cards (with a chip). Others have a slot that takes smart cards and a separate area to swipe non-smart cards. The Korean machines that require me to swipe my card never work for me even if the machine has a Cirrus logo.

Citibank machines do work. I also found some machines within the Yongsan electronics market which worked with my cards. So far I have not found any ATMs in banks besides Citibank, in convenience stores such as FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, GS25, etc.

I hope this more detailed information is useful to others. — Hippietrail 06:39, 21 April 2010 (EDT)

Stability warning regarding March 2010 sunk ship[edit]

Should a warning be put in both South/North Korea about possible instability due to the March 2010 S. Korean ship that was sunk by N. Korea? WindowsNT 07:12, 4 June 2010 (EDT)

I think the current exchange of (verbal) hostilities is rather constant and only if it really intensifies we should bring a warning box. jan 07:28, 4 June 2010 (EDT)

External Links[edit]

I understand the reason for no third party web-sites, but why is the link to the Hi Korea web-site always removed. It is clearly a government web-site, since the Korean immigration web-site links to the page, and it provides information on whether or not you need a visa for Korea. As far as I know, this is defnitely not touting, and it's definitely a primary source. Please check the link[4] carefully before deleting it as spam, and if there is valid grounds for deletion, please post it here so I will know my mistake. Thank you. Superdog 12:26, 17 June 2010 (EDT)

If hikorea were the official tourist website for Korea, we would link to it only once just in the beginning of the article. But this does not appear to be the official website but rather a guide for foreigners in Korea, which we do not want to link to. In relation to the visa information, the Korean immigration website is the primary link, I would say), --ClausHansen 00:53, 18 June 2010 (EDT)
If you look at the web-site logo, it says e-government for foreigners. It's not the official tourism web-site, but rather, it is a government web-site targeted at all foreigners in Korea, including international students and foreign workers, not just tourists. Anyway, I changed the link to the exact page Korean immigration directs you to when you click on visa information. I hope this makes it clearer. Superdog 03:01, 18 June 2010 (EDT)

Please be fair in the article.[edit]

I have noticed that if I even change the article to make the Japanese occupation of Korea more Neutral, it seems to be either deleted or changed back to the original "Japanese Bashing" article. I want to emphasize that we have to make this as neutral as possible. I am not Pro Japanese nor Pro Korean. I just think using excessive words like "brutal" "Horrific" to make the Japanese look like demons are uncalled for. What do you all think? Thanks.

This time it is I who changed it back, and I believe that it is fair to say "exploitative and brutal" when a) the Korean people widely and blatantly resisted Japanese occupation and b) any insurgency was met with such nasty violence as herding people into a building and setting it on fire. The Japanese killed thousands of people who tried to resist. If that's not brutal, I don't know what is. Certainly there are no Koreans who think of that time as the good ol' days. Texugo 22:04, 26 November 2010 (EST)
I don't know whose prose the current article represents, but I think it reads fine now. It's short and concise and avoids becoming overly political. ChubbyWimbus 02:14, 27 November 2010 (EST)
| I have to disagree Texugo. The way you are expressing your opinion is very one sided. Have you ever heard of Hong Sa-ik? O Song-fa? Please do some research before adding information like this. If so, we must put that the Caucasian people have "BRUTALLY MASSACRED" the Aboriginal people in North and South America. We must write how the Native lands were "STOLEN" and the Caucasian race have killed Millions who tried to resist. The way this article is presented is very unprofessional and will give negative feelings towards Japan. Where is your source? I am very disappointed with Wikitravel and Wikipedia because seems like it is exploited with racist and biased people.
Poster: Does the current article read well to you now? It has not been edited since I responded last and details about the war are now very minimal. Wikitravel has had discussions of bias before, and those that I've seen have ended in more tactful and balanced editing, so please don't be discouraged by having to bring it to discussion. ChubbyWimbus 23:09, 29 November 2010 (EST)
| Hi ChubbyWimbus. The article has improved from my perspective in having it in neutral point. The only thing I would say is that the Korean language was not banned but was discouraged and was the language for the local Koreans to get themselves in higher position. It still maintained its official language status in the Korean Peninsula during the Japanese Rule. I appreciate that there is still a room for discussion in Wikipedia/travel instead of shunning people's opinion due to their own biased opinion or hatred. Cheers.

Route boxes[edit]

Ok, finally getting around to fixing up the placeholder route boxes I slapped in earlier (except one article which I'm giving a 1 month cooloff period to on account of trolling, shame because theres an error in that one too). They're a bit messy, and I'm not sure how the Seoul Subway should be incorporated. I feel line 1, as it essentially follows the old Korail line pretty much needs featuring, but its a bit awkward at present with Seoul still undistrictified due to lack of content. I guess it'll improve with time.

So I'm mostly focussing on the KTX then. An argument could be given to including the regular lines as well, but its borderline enough on including all but 10 (+Yongsan and Gupo) of the KTX stations as it is due to lack of regular service. I've chosen to include the major stops on the Gyeongbu line as the ones that I believe every service stops at without fail, plus Ulsan and Shin-Gyeongju, at which every second service appears to stop. I'll be honest that I'm less familiar with the Honam line, so I'm pulling the majors out of my butt here. Iksan (closest KTX to provincial capital and major tourism city Jeonju) and Gwangju (one of the seven special metro cities) it is. Edit: Nope, cut Iksan, Ulsan and Shin-gyeongju. Just Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu, Busan, Gwangju, Mokpo and Masan.

I guess in turn, an argument could be given to slapping the toll expressway network on too but that'd be another project for another day (and I think if I were to bother with that, I'd preference doing Japan's similar equivalent first due to the increased hitchhiking benefits).

In case anyone wants to know where the data I'm using comes from, its from the latest (march 2011) KTX map in the KTX infl...inride? magazine, confirmed by monotonously going through _all_ the KTX options on a functional ticket machine (how rare these are) to check at least one service runs from Seoul to the location without a mugunghwa doubling back section on a given Friday. Why Friday? Arbitrary. This might sound a bit OTT, but unfortunately, KORAIL has a wonderful habit of advertising the KTX at stops that only run combo tickets with the mugunghwa, often incurring lengthy doubling-back rendering it slower than an equivalent express bus trip.

Now, the catch here is even with these failsafes, there are inconsistencies! Namely, the full dataset is as follows:


  • Haengsin +
  • Yongsan
  • Yeongdeungpo (on both lines? uncertain, likely Honam)
  • Gwangmyeong (on both lines? uncertain)
  • Suwon
  • Seo-daejeon
  • Gyeryong +
  • Nonsan +
  • Iksan
  • Gimje +
  • Jeongeup
  • Jangseong +
  • Gwangju
  • Gwangju Songjeong
  • Naju
  • Hampyeong ^
  • Mokpo


  • Haengsin + (on both lines? uncertain)
  • Seoul
  • Yongsan
  • Yeongdeungpo (on both lines? uncertain)
  • Gwangmyeong (on both lines? uncertain, likely Gyeongbu)
  • Cheonan/Asan
  • Osong ^^
  • Daejeon
  • Gimcheon(Gumi)
  • Dong-daegu
  • Shin-gyeongju
  • Ulsan
  • Busan

Old Gyeongbu South Spur to Busan

Gyeongbu South Spur to Masan

^^ services run, but not marked on map as KTX stop (is major stop on map) ^ services run, but not marked on map as KTX stop (is minor stop on map) + services run, but marked on map as minor KTX stop

Sigh. So I'm not sure what to do here. Osong is included for sure. No question there, this looks like a typo on KORAIL's part. The others... Hmm... I guess including them all? Edit: Nope, its ugly as sin. If some should be chopped, the single asterisk and plus annotated ones should go first I guess. Nonsan I'm tempted to inlcude for some reason. I think its because I've seen reference to using that station in itineraries, but it seems rather arbitrary.

Note that presentation gets really, REALLY complicated around Busan as the old Daegu-Gupo line still runs occasionally and even though its South Korea's equivalent to the Akita "shinkansen" con. Gah!!! If anyone wants to come up with a way to present that split nicely, please plunge forward.

Final listing to be used is:

Honam: Yongsan -> Suwon -> Seo-daejeon -> Iksan -> Jeongeup -> Gwangju -> Gwangju Songjeong -> Naju -> Mokpo

Gyeongbu: Seoul -> Gwangmyeong -> Cheonan/Asan -> Osong -> Daejeon -> Gimcheon(Gumi) -> Dong-daegu -> Shin-gyeongju -> Ulsan -> Busan

Old Gyeongbu South Spur to Busan:Dong-daegu -> Miryang -> Gupo -> Busan

Gyeongbu South Spur to Masan:Dong-daegu -> Miryang -> Masan Snave 12:44, 20 March 2011 (EDT)

hagwonblacklist FYI[edit]

This site keeps getting added back for some reason. is no longer in service. —Quovadis 03:59, 21 May 2011 (EDT)

KOREA name[edit]

檀君朝鮮 [KOREA 코리아 高麗國 고려+국 KORE+A(참고, AREA)] is a country in East Asia.

Constitutional Court of KOREA = [Empire of KOREA + the Republic of KOREA (코리아 공화제 高麗國 共和制) + Democratic People's Republic of KOREA (코리아 민주주의 인민 공화제 高麗國 民主主義 人民 共和制)]

UN Resolution 46/1. Admission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to membership in the United Nations

1) Decides to admit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to membership in the United Nations ;

2) Decides to admit the Republic of Korea to membership in the United Nations.

HISTORY : 檀君朝鮮(高離) - 北夫餘 - 高句麗,百濟,新羅,伽倻,耽羅 - 大震,新羅 - 高麗 - 檀君朝鮮(고리 - COREE - KOREA)

檀君朝鮮 - 檀君이래 藁離族(高陽氏,高辛氏)가 朝鮮을 統治 → 檀君朝鮮만을 일컬을 때 - CHAOXIAN ' CHOSUN

開天節 (檀紀 或 甲子) 활용 - BC 2333 년도

高麗 - 本貫制 실시 국가 --안성균 19:24, 22 August 2012 (EDT)

李氏朝鮮 (한국 韓國 Hanguk) (대한제국 大韓帝國 Daehan Empire 대한민국 大韓民國 Daehan Republic)


1. MAP - Sea of KOREA (East Sea) -> Not Sea of JAPAN but Sea of KOREA

2. 韓日合倂條約 is a treay Between HANGUK(大韓帝國 + 大韓民國) with NIPON(日本) -> Not KOREA but HANGUK

3. 降伏文書 一. 대본영 及 그 고급지휘관 일본 본토 及 일본근해의 島嶼, 朝鮮 북위 38도 이남의 지역 及 필리핀에 있는 日本 육해공군 及 그에 속한 군대는 미국군태평양방면 최고사령관에 항복할 것을 명하였다. [출처 : 국사편찬위원회 한국사데이터베이스] --안성균 20:03, 22 August 2012 (EDT)

-> HANGUK(HANGUK 統監府 - 李氏朝鮮總督府) 日本帝國 李氏朝鮮 李王 全州 李垠 19450815 , 19450909

Coronavirus Warning (CDC, USDOS)[edit]

I have added a warning box that corresponds to the recently issued travel warnings that were initiated by the U.S. Government. Remove them once the warnings are taken down. Kentuckite (talk) 17:40, 26 February 2020 (EST)